Honokalani Black Sand Beach

Hawaii, U.S.A.

Starfish Rating of 4

Claim to Fame

Spectacular cliffs and ink-black pebbly volcanic beach.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of ScottGregoryPhotography
  • Where is it?on the northeast tip of the Hawaiian island of Maui, in Waianapanapa State Park, 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) north of the town of Hana, on the Pailoa Bay section of the Pacific Ocean
  • Coordinates: latitude» 20.788°
    longitude» -156.003°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical
  • Development: relatively remote; part of State Park; very limited development
  • Length of Beach: .25m/.40km
  • Type: black sand and pebbles
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Part of the 122-acre Waianapanapa State Park, Honokalani Beach boasts family campgrounds with rustic cabins that sleep up to six people, restrooms, outdoor showers and a pay telephone. It is easily accessible to the town of Hana that has more civilized facilities.

Itís the color palette that inspires visitors to the beach, the pitch black, bright green and turquoise and the white tops of the waves. That and the striking, yet very climbable, volcanic cliffs that surround the beach area. Ornithologists will delight in the array of seabirds that make their homes and play areas in the water, vegetation and cliffs.

Dotted with scenic outlooks, caves and surprising blowholes, and lush with vegetation, this is a fine spot to explore flora and fauna alike. Besides rock climbing and swimming (the calmest waters occur during the summer months), kayaking is popular at Honokalani Beach, but the currents are too powerful for surfing.

This is an ideal place for more than just relaxing on the beach, although that is a favorite pastime; because of the fascinating terrain in the area, hiking is popular. The town of Hana is close enough to hike to, with the time to enjoy its amenities, and in the other direction, history enthusiasts will marvel at the ruined temple at Ohala Heiau.

Honokalani Beach offers a mixed collection of things to do, some of them laid-back and some more active. Itís a microcosm of what some more major (and a lot busier) beaches offer, with the splendor of stunning scenery. Itís a must-see for visitors to Maui.

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